Many of us get confused between TVP with tofu since both are made of soybeans. As a food explorer and nutritionist, I’ll talk about different aspects of tofu vs TVP.
Tofu and TVP are vegan meat substitutes, however, there are many key differences between them. Read along to know more about these two nutrient-dense products.
Tofu vs TVP: Find Out Which Is Better and Why?
Before we delve into details, let’s take a quick look at different metrics of tofu vs TVP:
Soy milk & Coagulants
Defatted Soy Flour
|TASTE & TEXTURE
Mild & Soft
Mild & Chewy
|BEST TIME TO EAT
Morning & Noon
Morning & Noon
|ORAL AND BONE HEALTH OUTCOME
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams
Is TVP the Same as Tofu?
No, TVP is not tofu. Even if they both are made of soybeans, their making process is totally different. Tofu is coagulated soy milk and is also known as bean curd. Its texture can range from extra firm to silken.
TVP is a byproduct of soy oil production. Once the oil is extracted from soybeans, the remaining paste is used to make TVP.
Does TVP Taste Like Tofu?
In terms of taste, both tofu and TVP are like a blank canvas which are ready to be colored in any flavor.
Both these soy products are known for their neutral taste which allows them to absorb any flavor of various recipes.
However, their textures are totally different. Tofu is soft whereas TVP is chewy. TVP comes in various shapes like nuggets, granules, stripes and crumbles etc.
It is a dehydrated soy product which needs to be rehydrated before using for cooking.
How Much Tofu vs TVP Is Enough per Day?
Soy products are low fat plant based foods which are excellent sources of protein. A normal adult can have up to 4 servings of soy products.
This allows you to have around 100-150 grams of tofu a day which is around 1 to half cup. Whereas, you can have 1 ⁄ 4 or 1 ⁄ 2 cup of TVP per day. Since TVP is a high calorie product it is crucial to stick with the recommended quantity.
How Do Tofu & TVP Fare Against Other Protein Sources?
| Tofu Vs Seitan |
| TVP Vs Seitan |
Textured Soy Protein vs Tofu: Know the Caloric Difference
As we can see in the comparative table above, TVP has a significantly higher amount of calories compared to tofu.
If you are looking for a low calorie soy product, then tofu is definitely a better pick for you over TVP. You can also adjust the quantity of TVP, in case you don’t want to avoid it completely.
Tofu or TVP: Which Has Lower Carbs?
Carbohydrates give glucose to the body which is converted to energy. This energy is required to support bodily functions and physical activity.
There is a vast difference between the carbs of tofu and TVP. However, most carbs in TVP come from dietary fiber which is considered as a good quality of carbs.
Tofu or TVP: What to Opt for Less Fat Content?
Speaking about low fat content, there is a substantial difference between tofu and TVP. Since, TVP is prepared with defatted soy flour, it contains very less fats.
However, most of the fats in tofu are polyunsaturated fats which are considered healthy for you. Hence, you should not avoid tofu just because it has more fat than TVP.
TVP vs Tofu Protein: Which One Is Better and Why?
TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein, which itself shows that it is mostly protein. It has 6 times more protein than tofu.
Tofu and TVP both are produced with soybeans which is considered as a complete protein since it contains all essential amino acids to make protein. However, TVP is a highly processed soy product and its consumption should be limited.
If you want a higher amount of protein through tofu then opt for extra firm instead of silken.
Tofu or TVP: What to Pick for More Calcium?
In terms of calcium, again TVP is a better choice than tofu. It has more calcium compared to tofu. Although, as mentioned earlier, the per day recommended quantity of TVP is much less than tofu.
That means at the end of the day you will get almost the same amount of calcium from 100-150 grams of tofu or 25-50 grams of TVP.
Tofu or TVP: Which One Is a Better Fiber Source?
TVP is an excellent source of fiber compared to tofu. This is because it is made using soy flour which contains a good amount of dietary fiber.
On the other hand, most of the fiber of soybeans is lost during the process of making soy milk. Soy milk is the base ingredient to make tofu.
Nutritional Diversity: Is TVP Healthier Than Tofu?
To compare the nutritional diversity of tofu and TVP, it is important to know the macro and micro nutrients of both the products.
TVP is a rich source of many essential minerals such as copper, folate, magnesium, potassium and thiamine. Tofu is also loaded with many minerals and vitamins including iron, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
Both the products are valuable sources of essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals. Hence, it is difficult to choose one over the other.
Suitable Time of the Day for Having Tofu vs TVP
You can have tofu anytime of the day. Just like East Asians you can have it in the morning. It is a low carb and protein rich food which will give a nutrient rich yet light start to the day. It is also a healthy option for a midday meal or for a light supper.
TVP is a calorie and protein dense food which requires time to digest. Hence, breakfast or lunch is a better option to add TVP to your diet.
Digestibility of Tofu vs TVP
Your gut digests and absorbs the nutrients from the food. They also excrete the waste from the body. Hence your gut health is crucial for your overall physical and mental health.
TVP is packed with dietary fiber which promotes healthy digestion. Although, it is a fodmap food, which means you might face bloating or nausea if suffering from IBS. Remember high fodmap foods are restricted only for a section of people who have digestion issues.
On the other hand tofu is a low calorie and low fodmap soy product. Hence, it is recommended as a better soy food option for easy digestion.
Tofu or TVP: Which One Is a Healthier Option for Teeth and Bones?
Tofu and TVP both are excellent meat alternatives for protein and calcium. Both these nutrients are essential for repairing, building and maintaining the muscles, bones and teeth.
Tofu and TVP are rich sources of magnesium, copper and iron which are also important minerals for strong bones. Besides that, both the products contain soybean isoflavones which is considered helpful for your oral health.
Tofu or TVP: A More Allergy Friendly Option
Tofu and TVP are soy products and if you are allergic to soybeans then both of them can cause serious problems. In such cases you might feel discomfort after consuming tofu and TVP.
Nausea, swelling or rashes and diarrhea etc. are the early symptoms of soy allergy. If you are not aware about your allergy then start consuming these products in small quantities as a precaution.
How Versatile Tofu vs TVP Are?
Tofu goes very well with many dishes like fried rice, noodles and curries.
You can also eat it straight with soy or mustard sauce topping. Scrambled tofu is an excellent vegan substitute of scrambled egg.
Just like tofu, TVP is also a highly versatile food option. Although tofu can be used in dishes straight, TVP must be soaked in hot water before adding to recipes.
TVP comes in many different shapes and sizes which enhances its versatility. You can add it to curries, sandwiches, noodles or in salads. Its chewy texture gives you a meat-like feeling and it is much more filling than tofu.
Tofu vs Textured Vegetable Protein: Which Can Stay Longer?
Tofu can be stored around 1-2 days at room temperature and up to 4-5 days in the fridge. Whereas TVP can stay up to 1 year if stored well in an airtight container.
Remember packed versions of tofu and TVP have different expiry dates which you must check while buying one.
In conclusion, TVP is a cheaper soy product compared to tofu which is more accessible. Tofu is a less processed soy food which you can add to a regular diet.
Instead of choosing one, it is better to have tofu and TVP both according to your dietary needs.
If you have any further query regarding tofu vs TVP, write it in the comment section. I will do my best to answer it as soon as possible.